Rhinitis, causes, symptoms, prevention, and treatment.
What is rhinitis?
This is the inflammation of the turbinates and nasal mucosa that prevents the passage of air through the patient’s nose.
The turbinates are a bony structure covered with skin that is located inside the nostrils whose function is to filter the air that passes into the lungs. When this structure becomes inflamed, the air stops circulating comfortably to the lungs causing discomfort.
Rhinitis can affect the quality of life of people who suffer from it, since the blockage of nasal breathing can cause difficulties in perceiving the sense of smell and also in resting, thus triggering fatigue, headache and irritability.
Other discomforts caused by rhinitis can be excess mucus, sneezing and, in the case of athletes, minimization of performance due to lack of oxygenation.
Anyone can be affected by this nose pathology. The important thing is to treat it as soon as possible to recover the patient’s quality of life. The human being needs to breathe well through the nose to perform daily processes and routines optimally.
This inflammation can be caused by an allergic reaction, which is the most common cause, by an infectious situation, by metabolic or functional conditions and even by exposure to drugs or chemicals in the workplace.
Depending on its severity, it is classified as mild, moderate or chronic and, according to its duration, as intermittent or permanent. In any case, it is important to see an ENT specialist to recognize the state of the pathology and to establish the ideal treatment.
What are the symptoms of rhinitis?
Symptoms range between allergic, infectious and non-infectious rhinitis, but mostly consist of the presence of the following discomforts:
Other symptoms to be considered are:
The most common way in which rhinitis appears is with flu or cold, although it can also occur with asthma or conjunctivitis in an infectious way.
How to prevent rhinitis?
Self-care is the best strategy to prevent inflammation although it is necessary to identify the cause of rhinitis whether it is allergic or infectious.
It is best to identify and avoid the allergen agent which can be dust, mites, pollen or any other element to which the patient is exposed that causes an allergic reaction.
Once identified, it is possible to avoid outdoor activities, improve the home cleaning strategy, eliminate carpets or rugs.
Practicing nasal lavage is also a good way to minimize the amount of mucus produced to help the disease.
Take some over-the-counter medications, such as antihistamines, anti-inflammatories, that help with a mild condition.
The best thing to do for this type of rhinitis is to identify the cause of the infection to stay away from it. This situation may occur when the turbinates come into contact with fungi, bacteria or viruses that cannot be expelled due to the inflammation of the sinuses.
When presenting this condition, the patient may suffer from fever. Therefore, it is important to consult a specialist to find the ideal treatment, which in most cases consists of antibiotics and nasal lavage.
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Dr. Lech Koritkowski, ENT specialist in Panama can help you find the solution to your nasal discomfort
What is the treatment for rhinitis?
In the case that the cause of the disease is due to allergenic agents, the treatment is based on identifying and avoiding exposure to such cause. At the same time, drugs prescribed by a specialized otorhinolaryngologist are used.
Immunotherapy may be necessary, which refers to the exposure to the allergen in indicated doses for an estimated time in order to minimize the body’s reaction.
If rhinitis is caused by an infection or other reasons, another type of treatment must be recommended, which is aimed at recognizing the reason for the inflammation.
Some tests may be recommended, such as:
Nasal endoscopy, which is a visual review of the inside of the nasal passages thanks to a thin instrument called an endoscope.
Computed tomography, which is an x-ray that provides a detailed image of the inside of the patient’s nose.
After the evaluation, it can be defined if the treatment will be based on medication or on a surgical process called nasal endoscopic surgery.